• Kim Burke

4/ Fishy field research

Updated: May 6, 2020

After hearing the words 'surround yourself with people who may intend to use your product', by Chris Lim, programme director. I took myself away from the hustle and bustle of the city to the west coast for a night, to spend time in the small fishing village, Tavyallich. My aim for the short period of time I had, was to keep my eyes open; clear my mind and let my thoughts roll. I also intended to try and speak to some fishermen; run my project ideas past them and ask them some questions about their fishing methods. To do so I made some posters, titled, 'CALLING ALL FISHERMEN', in the hope that members of the public, and fishermen, may contact me, if they had an interest from viewing my poster.

I am yet to see how successful this will be, but worth a try!

Whilst on the west coast I visited some locations which I knew may be prime examples of disregarded and old fishing gear. I wasn't surprised to see plenty of pots, robe, metal chain, bouys, and plastic crates.

Why was the old gear not disposed of?

How is this not classed as littering and why is it not policed?

If this is just simply on land, I wonder what the bottom of the sea bed looks like?

I also went out on my Dads fishing boat to pull in some pots, to see if I had any magic brainwaves on the water...

No lobsters were caught this time sadly, just some meaty crabs! But it got me thinking...

Why do we use lobster pots like traps, that are tight and crammed why isn't there a more fair and sustainable way to retrieve them. Perhaps a larger cage which allows them to grow even further once 'captured'. Of course restrictions for the length of time would need to apply, but just a thought...

Another highlight was on a much smaller scale, but still applicable. When lobsters are caught for commercial purposes in the creels; they are retrieved and their claws are bound by cable tie or elastic band.

Are these rubber bands made from natural rubber? I highly doubt it.

Could something on a small scale like this be a key insight for the opportunity of an environmentally friendlier alternative?

Would fishermen see any incentive to change this minor act?

Keep an eye out for my next blog post to discover further ongoing research. My aim continues to research into current organisations and companies working to protect the ocean (and land) from fishing equipment)!

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